The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network, Breaking News Tanzania

Villages in Tanzania now earn more from Carbon Trading than through Tourism and Hunting Activities

Villages that have dedicated much of their territorial land to conservation, say they are making more money through carbon trading than they get from other activities such as Tourism and Commercial Hunting.

Residents of villages who formed the Makame Wildlife Management Area in the Kiteto District of Manyara, which happens to be the country’s biggest community conservation entity measuring 3,716 square kilometers, reveal that selling carbon credits is far much profitable

Five villages of Irkiushoibor, Makame, Katikati, Ndedo and Ngabolo in Kiteto District of Manyara Region profess to earn 2.6 billion/- from carbon trading through their Wildlife Management Area as opposed to just 1 billion/- they have been getting from leasing out hunting blocks to trekking firms.

“We have designated only 1,040 square kilometers of our conserved land to carbon trading,” stated the Makame WMA Board Chairperson, Lendukushi Keiya Moisari.

The rather rich five villages mapped within the Ndedo and Makame wards of Kiteto occupy 5000 square kilometers and they pooled in 3,716 kilometers squares of that into the joint Wildlife Management Area, a community conservation initiative which seems to be bearing fruits.

For instance, poaching incidents in the savannah wilderness making up the Makame Wildlife Management Area have fallen by nearly 95 percent, according to the WMA Secretary Supuk Olekao.

That apparently is a positive development which Olekao credits to the community projects and services being funded by money raised through the carbon market.

The villages can now foot all education and medical costs for all members of the hamlets.

Also, each of the five villages get a share of 206 million/- from the transactions.

There are other four villages in Kiteto, including Amei, Lolera, Lesoit and Lembapuli that have also pooled in parts of their respective precincts to form the joint Alole grazing plains, the rangelands that are essentially also protected areas with ample wildlife species.

The Tanzania Natural Resources Forum (TNRF) with funding from the USAID Protect Natural Resources activity has empowered the villages to establish the connectivity landscape which also plays an important role in wildlife passage linking a number of National and Game Parks.

The Alole connectivity landscape chairperson, Ngushani Lengohoke and Secretary, Kambona Lemanda say they were also contemplating to invest the land in carbon trading as various organizations have been visiting the area to convince them of the potential benefits.

In Babati District the Sangaiwe village is recording considerable income from the area dedicated to conservation on which two firms have leased plots from the village land for tourist lodges operations.

From the investments the villagers rake in nearly 1.2 billion/- separate from what they also earn as their share in the adjacent joint Burunge Wildlife Management Area, comprising of ten village members.

However, the area chairperson Marian Manso revealed that they were also contemplating engaging in carbon trading for added income.

The Tanzania Natural Resources Forum (TNRF) through the USAID Tuhifadhi Maliasili project recently took regional and district officials to visit the villages that are actively involved in joint community conservation activities so that the mission of 56 people could learn from their initiatives.

“Once members of the community get to understand that conservation not only protects nature but also benefits local residents through considerable earnings, it will no longer be difficult to convince all Tanzanians to engage in environment protection,” said the TNRF Director, Zacharia Faustin.

A community elder (Laigwanan) from Esilalei Village of Monduli, in Arusha Region who was among the people in the delegation to learn from the Manyara activities, said he planned to emulate the example and convince fellow villagers to actively get involved in conservation programs that yield profits.

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